Monday, 30 June 2008

No Posts Doesn't Mean No Work

I've not posted for a while for a few reasons. The main one being that most of the work has been 'more of the same'. It's also been hot, 35°C and humid so working through the day has been impossible. As a result of this I've changed my routine; I get up early (well for me) and start work outside at 7:30 - I'm not a morning person so this is at least 3 hours ahead of my normal. I then work until 12 to 12:30 by which time it is getting too hot for me. Lunch and siesta follow followed by some housework until the temperature drops enough for me to carry on outside. My farm is in a shallow south facing valley and it seems to collect the heat from the sun. I then work until 9:30 or until it's either getting dark or I'm getting too bitten by mosquitoes. By then I'm far to tired to post.

Also Blogger has started giving me HTML errors if I try to cut and paste from Word; I usually write the post in a Word document that I add to and edit during the day. And I've noticed while writing this post it doesn't seem to be spotting all the spelling errors

So just what have I been doing? Well there's always the animals; the alpacas are still loving their new hay and devouring a bale a day. The chickens have stopped laying - the best layer is the one with the chicks so I'm wondering when she will start laying again. My second best layer has just gone broody as well and the other two, well who knows. I did wonder if they were laying alsewhere in the paddock but I've yet to find any eggs if they are.

I've been collecting the eggs daily from the new broody, she lays 2 eggs every 3 days and one of the other hens has I think laid twice in the nest in the last 8 days. When we finally got to 5 eggs I put the 4 I'd removed back under her and this morning she'd laid another one, so we now start the 21 day wait to see if they are going to hatch.

The 3 chicks are growing well although they are still far too small to be allowed out in the paddock. I have at least one pair of small birds of prey nesting in a tree adjoining the chicken paddock and the buzzards are always around too.

This week also sees my children coming over for their holidays and I'm trying to create 3 bedrooms for them. While I'm not quite there yet it's getting pretty close so they will have somewhere to sleep although they may prefer to be outside in the tent if it stays this hot.

The highlight for the week has been a visit from Debs of Lehners in France. She came over today to meet the alpacas and was due here at 2 pm. When it got to half past and she wasn't here I began to get a bit concerned. It turned out that despite reading and re-reading my direction to her on how to get to my place I'd managed to write a right when I should have written left - hang my head in shame. Debs being Debs wasn't too phased by it. She did a tour of my neighbours got an introduction to the mayor and got the correct directions from him. It was really lovely meeting up with Debs again and before we knew it the time had flown past and she had to race back to feed her animals.

I've been attacking the weed patch jokingly known as the veg plot and fruit area. The weeds around the fruit trees were getting on for as tall as me so thank goodness for the scythe. I've also had a go at rotavating a bit more of the area but the soil is now so baked that the rotavator just bounces over the surface. So I've had a re-think on weeding and am now scything down the large weeds and then hoeing what I can and trying to either fork out or pull out anything else. While it's not perfect it's quite fast and will stop the weeds from seeding.

Where I used the straw mulch it has been moderately successful. It has suppressed a lot of the weeds but has been colonised by the bindweed so I see a session of pulling that and burning it.

So while I may not have been posting I haven't been slacking. I still find the heat a bit hard to work in but it is easier than last year so I may be acclimatising at least a bit. It's so good to have the sunshine again after nearly half a year of grey weather.


Georgina said...

Deborah (and you know how long I think your name is!) Thanks sooo much for today. I arrived home in 25 mins!!!! Marie was here, quelle surprise. Your home is amazing, the alpacas are just wonderful. I loved your cats and chickens. Most of all though Your towns folk are the bee's knees!! I think I've met everyone of them. So sorry I was late, but we shall repeat it before long. Debs x

Breezy said...

I know what you mean about the heat I'm starting to flag on the weeding already today and I've only got the garden!

aims said...

Wow! Heat and Debs! Who could ask for more?

We are finally - finally - having some warm weather. A month of cold rainy weather after a very long winter...hooray!!

So today - the pool goes up. I hope. It all depends on The Man.

What you get done in one day I might get done in 4. You are simply amazing! (and they call me wonderwoman...hah! they should meet you!)

dND said...

Hi Debs, I'll give you a special dispensation to call me D - I don't think I can get shorter than that ;-D
See you again soon.

Breezy - flagging isn't the word here, dripping or rather streaming would be closer, it's so humid as well as being in the mid 30's, but the weeds are still growing aren't they.

Aims, wonderful that summer is getting there for you - the cold weather here was beginning to get me down. And as for the workload, some day I get very little done so it balances out to pretty average. I still have good days when I can achieve and bad days where I can't get my act together to do anything but that's just how life is these days.

Living the Dream said...

Hi Deborah, How good to catch up on your "goings on" again. As usual you have been very busy and I agree with you about the heat. As you can imagine we are still trying to get to grips with the garden since we got back. Oh the weeds!! Like you, we try and do some in the evening but the mosquitos are really bad over here and my poor mum has been bitten a lot on her legs so we have to be very careful with her. How nice for you to be able to meet up with Debs, perhaps we may be able to do it one day?

farming-frenchstyle said...

In preparation for our move, have got Alan Titchmarche's "Kitchen Gardener". Will it be easier to buy your own? Sorry, Alan, may have spelt your name wrong.